White Hot Grief Parade: A Memoir

White Hot Grief Parade: A Memoir

by Alexandra Silber


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A powerful and luminous story of grief and coming-of-age and a beautiful tribute to the relationship between a father and daughter.

Alexandra “Al” Silber seems to have everything: brilliance, beauty, and talent in spades. But when her beloved father dies after a decade-long battle with cancer when she is just a teenager, it feels like the end of everything. Lost in grief, Al and her mother hardly know where to begin with the rest of their lives.

Into this grieving house burst Al’s three friends from theatre camp, determined to help out as only drama students know how—and they’re moving in for the duration. Over the course of that winter, the now five-strong household will do battle with everything Death can throw at them—meddling relatives, merciless bureaucracy, soul-sapping sadness, the endless Tupperware. They will learn (almost) everything about love and will eventually return to the world, altered in different ways by their time in a home by a river.

Told with raw passion, candor and wit, White Hot Grief Parade is an ode to the restorative power of family and friendship—and the unbreakable bond, even in death, between father and daughter.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643132464
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 12/10/2019
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Alexandra Silber is an actress and singer who starred most recently as Tzeitel in the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof. She earlier played Hodel in the same show in London’s West End. Those two roles inspired her to write After Anatevka. Her other Broadway, New York, and West End credits include Master Class, Arlington (Outer Critics Circle nomination), Carousel (TMA Award and Ovation Nomination), Kiss Me Kate, and Hello, Again (Drama League nomination). She received a Grammy nomination for her portrayal of Maria in the recording of West Side Story with the San Francisco Symphony. She has appeared on all three incarnations of "Law & Order” and has performed in a variety of concert outlets including the 57th Grammy Awards, Royal Albert Hall, and Carnegie Hall. She lives in New York.

Table of Contents


Things I’d Tell My Seventeen-Year-Old Self 3

Pain Pills: A Prologue 7

The Dying 11

Al(ex(andra)) and Lilly 17

Kent 25

The Morning 29

Planning 37

Grey 43

Let Me Tell You about My Grandparents 49

Kinko’s 61

Writing the Eulogy 65


Love Keeps Going 77

The Protagonist Wishes to Reiterate Her Feelings toward Her Grandparents without Overdoing It 79

Funeral: A How-to Guide 81

Funeral-ku 85

Funeral: A Prologue to a Farce 87

Reception! Yet Another Farce 99

The Protagonist Attempts Existential Escape (A Diagram) 109

Edna 111

Funeral-ku Two 115

An Afterplay 117


Memories through Lenses 121

The Laugh 127

The Letter from Haley 131

Baby Steps 135

The State of Things 143

Only Connect 147

The Walk from 1367 153

Green Grow the Lilacs or, a Brief Non Sequitur of Vital Import 161

The Cat 163

The Bed of Death 167

“Psychic Mike” 171

Getting Over Your Grief 175

Opa 183

The Grandparental Gunfight 185

The Obligatory Autumn-to-Winter Montage 189

The Jehovah’s Witness 195

Another Letter from Kent 199

So, the Story about My Parents Goes Like This . . . 201

Big Trash Day 207


“I Wish” / “I Know” 215

Barren 219

Controversial-ku 223

A Trip to U of M 225

Rabbi Syme 229

The Protagonist Wishes to Express the Truth, However Cryptically: A Cryptogram 233

Full 235

Star of Wonder, Star of Night 239

Death Therapy 243

Where Memories Go 247


Emma and Her Dad 255

New Year: The Last Hurrah 259

The Morning After 267

Epilogue 269

Acknowledgements 275

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White Hot Grief Parade: A Memoir 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
_M_ More than 1 year ago
This memoir is a stunning portrait of strength, and life in the face of death. There is so much beauty to be found in the utter rawness of Silber's writing. Frank honesty mixed with a touch of humor, her voice leaps off of the page and makes the reader identify in their own experiences of loss.